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Rate case reparations: BNSF to pay Texas utility $3.4 million, plus interest


Burlington Northern Santa Fe has about a month to pay reparations to a Texas utility in a rate case the Surface Transportation Board (STB) ruled on this past spring.

In a March 24 decision, STB concluded the Class I had "market dominance" over Texas Municipal Power Agency's (TMPA) coal traffic from the Caballo Rojo and Cordero mines in Wyoming's Powder River Basin to TMPA's Gibbons Creek Steam Electric Station at Iola, near Carlos, Texas, and that the rate charged by BNSF exceeded a "maximum reasonable level."

STB subsequently ordered BNSF to establish within 60 days a reduced rate and to repay to TMPA, with interest, the common-carrier service charges paid to the extent they exceeded the prescribed rate. BNSF complied with the rate-reduction order on May 23.

In a "statement of damages" filed Sept. 30, TMPA asked STB to direct BNSF to make immediate payment, plus interest, of $3.4 million in reparations plus $72,658.13 interest through Sept. 10. BNSF didn't contest TMPA's reparations and interest calculations.

Now, BNSF has 30 days to remit reparations "with interest as determined herein," according to an STB decision issued Nov. 12.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 11/14/2003